THIS WEEKEND: Decatur Police hosts River City Cup Soccer Tourney to bring cultures together

Jack Allen recreation complex

Jack Allen recreation complex

DECATUR, Ala. – For the second year, Decatur Police officers will trade their badges for cleats and take the field with players from around the world.

The second annual River City Cup Soccer Tournament begin Saturday October 8, at 9:00 am. The championship game will be played Sunday, October 9.

“This tournament is geared towards building a better relationship between the many different nationalities that live within our community,” said Detective Jonathan Macklin.

Decatur police officers will play alongside participants from Nigeria, Mexico, Australia, Bahamas, Guatemala and multiple other nations. The goal is to build a familiar and trusting relationship, not only with law enforcement, but with people of different ethnic backgrounds.

Though the Tennessee Valley is filled with college football fans, the officers coordinating the event say soccer is the best sport to accomplish its multicultural mission.

“Every country on the globe plays soccer,” said Macklin. “No matter where you’re from, soccer is worldwide so we use that as a backdrop for this because it brings out a lot of crowds, different kids of people.”

Officers will give out toys and soccer balls during the event, and hope many of the city’s children come out. Macklin explains that keeping the kids out of trouble, and busy with recreational activities, creates a philanthropy tied to the tournament.

“This year, we will take the money that is donated by our local businesses and give a substantial donation in the name Officer Josh Driggers to River City United Soccer Club, Decatur Youth Soccer, and Decatur Youth Football. The sports organizations will in return award sports scholarships, trophies, and uniforms to be a part of a team in the upcoming year or current year.”

The tournament and activities are free other than a $10 dollar parking pass that is good for the entire weekend.